cherries and dog-shaped box
cherries and dog-shaped box

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Cherries And Dog-Shaped Box

Suzuki Kiitsu (Japanese, 1796-1858)


桜に犬張子貝合図

Together with the cherry blossoms, the images here indicate the girls’ doll festival, or hinamatsuri, traditionally observed on the third day of the third lunar month. The painting is therefore a festive celebration of spring.

The clamshells were used for a matching game, with identical motifs or parts of a poem painted on the inner faces of corresponding halves. The shells were placed painted sides down and turned over one at a time.

The dog-shaped box with a child’s face was given to an expectant mother. The dog symbolized ease and safety of delivery for the mother, and was also a talisman to ward off evil for the child.

Alan Strassman; purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2000.

Object Information

artist
Suzuki Kiitsu (Japanese, 1796-1858)
period
Edo
creation date
1796-1858
materials
ink, color, and gold on silk
dimensions
35 3/16 x 11 1/4 in. (image)
65 3/4 x 17 1/2 in. (overall)
mark descriptions
Signature: Kaikai Kiitsu
Seal: Shukurin
accession number
2000.37
credit line
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Crane Fund
copyright
Public Domain
collection
Asian Art
colors